COLORADO— Each year, Mother’s Day kicks off Women’s Health Week, a time to focus on the women in our lives and encourage them to look after themselves the way they look after us. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment urges women everywhere to schedule preventive screenings during Women’s Health Week, May 12–18.
Women who do not receive appropriate cancer screenings face a greater risk of late stage cancer detection and death. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among females in Colorado, killing more than 600 women annually. However, when breast cancer is detected early, 98 percent of those diagnosed survive at least five years. Likewise, when cervical and colorectal cancers are diagnosed early, 90 percent and 88 percent of women survive at least five years respectively.
Knowing your risk for developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes can give you the chance to make lifestyle changes that can prevent the development of those diseases. Screenings can save hundreds of lives and keep thousands of women from getting cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or other chronic diseases.
“As women, it’s so important for us to stay current on screenings, and to prioritize preventive healthcare needs. Women’s Health Week serves as a reminder to contact a healthcare provider and stay up to date with your checkups. Making time between all of our obligations as women, employees, mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives is so necessary for our health,” said Dr. Tista Ghosh, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s chief medical officer.
Most health insurance covers breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings at no cost to the individual. In addition, resources are available around the state for free breast and cervical cancers screenings. The department’s Women’s Wellness Connection program offers free breast and cervical cancer screenings to eligible women.
To learn about the program and/or schedule a screening, call 1-866-951-WELL (9355). Visit Women’s Wellness Connection website to learn more.
To learn more about cardiovascular disease and diabetes, visit the American Heart Association’s website or the American Diabetes Association website. Free cardiovascular screening and health improvement resources may be available in your area through the WISEWOMAN program. Visit the WISEWOMAN website for more information.
Local resources for colorectal cancer screenings for women and men 50 years or older may exist in your community. Talk to your primary care provider about what colorectal cancer screening option is right for you. In the meantime, go to http://www.cancer.org/cancer/colonandrectumcancer/index to learn more about colorectal cancer screening.